tv [untitled] August 18, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PDT
jewish so the word is -- i take pleasure in being able to make this appeal. to be able to be here for a full afternoon to watch you function. it is a joy to see the attention, patience, insurance and sensitivity that you have shown. even to see the diversity among stupe with your own opinions and questions -- come on with your own opinions and questions. i want to say thank you for all of that. commissioner wu: thank you. >> good afternoon, a commission. i am 66 years of age. i am an open lesbian and have been all my life. that has been very painful. it still is very painful.
when i was a youngster, out in the streets, it never occurred to me that i would even get to the age of 21. many of my peers were killed before they got to that age. just because they were gay. i needed to 66 and i do not know how i did it, but i did. i will buy to spend the rest of my life in an environment that is set -- i would like to spend the rest of my life in an environment that is safe. i would like to live in an environment where people understand the experience where i am -- experience i am going through. it is a terrible secret to carry. you should also know that we sacrificed to be able to stand up here and talk. most of us and gave up our senior lunch. we need this project.
look at me and then tried to picture yourself 66 years of age. would you want somebody to create an environment for you that is saved? thank you. please move this project forward. commissioner wu: thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. i am a native to san francisco. this is my home. by now, i've made a lot of friends. over the years, i've watched them have to leave one by one because they could not afford to stay in san francisco because of the cost. i am a retired disabled artist
designer. i've always managed to have a space where i could create art. after 43 years, of always having a space, i was forced this year to give up my art studio. open house has a great insight to include a community center. seniors from across the city can participate. they can come together, they can create art, get involved in groups, they can feel welcome. it is a great location. while i stand here, feeling isolated, a lot of my closest friends are gone and i no longer have a place to create art, i
intend on giving my years of experience to open house and teach our classes. the youth of today do not realize that the seniors fought for human rights in the 1960's and 1970's and 1980's. they have no idea that the seniors helped build this city. the lgbt seniors are among the most vulnerable people in the city. most are forced to live with four roommates, sleep in their car, a camp on the streets, sleep on someone's couch. i urge you to sign this bill. it is a vital step toward housing that is desperately needed in this great city. thank you for listening. commissioner wu: thank you.
>> good afternoon. i have been working with the neighbors association on this project. i am going to speak on one particular issue. the issue i have been working non mostly concerns the connectivity of the project. it is very important to us. that block has been the isolated block of haight street. it has been problematic at times. it is important to the community. in this regard, the developer has gotten it right.
they have provided a fairly direct connection to haight street right now. there are two issues that need to be addressed. public space is identified, but it does not be, -- it is not visible, it is not really publicly a sensible. it is important that the tills be worked out in terms of doorways, signage, that this connection be made very visible. i am disappointed when i read the amended resolution that there is no reference to this in the resolution. this is extremely important and it needs to be directly memorialized by the commission. i would ask that language be included to do so.
for example, it is page 6 of the resolution, there is a reference to the connection to the west of the south of the east, there is no reference to the connection of the north. have in that connection to the north is very important. i would ask that you amend the resolution to refer to that. thank you. commissioner wu: thank you. let me call a few more names. [reading names] >> hello. i am here as a senior with rheumatoid arthritis to tell you how when poor in this project is
for a woman -- important this project is for a woman. i live in the mission now. i get my window spit at at all the time because i am on the ground floor. i need a safe place. this is very urgent. i feel that san francisco is a city that will do this because we will look good. san francisco needs to look good for the seniors. if los angeles can do it, we can do it. let's be a catalyst. i want to state, when you see a senior smile, it is a beautiful thing. many will smile. commissioner wu: thank you. >> good evening.
as a gay man and, -- not only are people disabled and gay and senior, they're also very active or have wheelchairs'. -- very @ schreck -- baraitriia or have wheelchairs'. we will be the only project that has accommodations for all of those. l.a. does not have that. these people are putting up 110. they need to be allowed to do
so. thank you. commissioner wu: thank you, sir. a couple of more names. [reading names] >> good afternoon, commissioners. i live just a few blocks from this project. we concur that this is a very important sites. we have been working for many years through several iterations to make sure this project is a good project. we think it has come a long ways. it is much better than it was. the site plan is more
interesting, the architecture seems to be coming along. i want to talk about some urban design issues with this project. i am an architect and i do not believe that all architecture should be special. there's some places where it can be and other places where background buildings are important. i want to put it out there? i hope the designers will consider the gateway to waller park as an important part of this project. look at the architecture there and think about how it can serve as a gateway to that important park. we all agree that the open house part of the project is a very important building. the renderings we have seen so far does not suggest that at all. a looks more like a holiday in to me -- holiday inn to me.
i want to make sure that when the building is finished, we recognized it is a very special, interesting building. i want to -- other people have talked about the connection to haight street. it is a deadlock, it needs to be activated. i am glad to the developers is looking at putting at connection, but if you look carefully at that, i believe it does not cut it. it is through an existing service door, down a very narrow corridor, down a service stair. it is really not something that one would consider a public grand entrance. to i realize there are lots of historic constraints, but if the
project architects put on their creative caps, they can come up with interesting ways to activate this connection and make it much more public. commissioner wu: thank you. >> i am also very active with the neighborhood associations transportation and planning committee. it is wonderful to see this project after all the work that has gone into it finally progressing to this final stage. the gentleman who spoke who said this was his first meeting, rightly identified one of the trade marks of this commission, really sticking to detail. while i broadly supports many of the changes that have been made to make this a much better
project, i will still challenge you to take a closer look at some elements before you issue your final approval, you can make conditions of that approval. for example, the open house building design needs improvement. as we have all heard from the gay seniors who are here today, this building needs and off -- means an awful lot to them. when you look at the richardson apartments, we can have the award winning beautiful buildings that are off listing. i would hope that given how important the open house component is, that would be one of the elements. a second improvement that can be made, it was mentioned that the buchanan street parking entrance, which serves 120
spaces, is 2-car clinks wide -- lengths wide. laguna has been reconfigured successfully to one car lenght. -- lenghth. peter spoke to the inadequacy of the current public access to the community gardens. the community gardens, the community center are listed as the public amenities. amenities without good access to not mean much. in proving that small service door and the access would be -- improving that small service store and the access would be an enhancement.
if you were able to specify a recreations of the mural at the entry of would hall, -- wood hall, that would add to the historic value of the entire project. commissioner wu: thank you. thyssen henderson and peter -- jason anderson and peter cohen. >> good evening. thank you for listening this evening and for your patience. we have been through many iterations. we are enthusiastic about adaptive reuse of this site.
i would like to remind the commission that this is a unique site. this is publicly owned land. this is owned by the university of california, so it is not like your typical private development. this is a community resources. there is a higher barr, a higher expectation that this provide community benefit. the uc has been extremely difficult to deal with. they have stubbornly insisted on 51 parking spaces for their dental school. on any given day, go check it out, there are 20 cars there at the most. 15 of those spaces can be marketed for anyone to use. the parking ratio is higher for the residential and then we are discussing. i want to draw your attention to
the table in our letter to walk through it. [inaudible] this project has 333 market rate units. the right thing to do it, if this was a typical ncc project, would be 165 parking spaces. thanks to the planning commission, we have gotten that on several projects. the developer, i think, is misleading folks by claiming that they are at .57 when they are throwing in the 110 senior units, which is a separate project. it is not the kind of housing -- and what we're talking about is 310 market rate parking spaces, 50 of which go to the
dental school. and then you have the car share. i think that -- i note they are in the envelope of 2008, but it is egregious that we are still haggling over these ratios. the developer could have come down voluntarily. we're talking about affordable housing. speaking of affordable housing, we are supportive of this project, but having just heard at the very beginning that the 50 bmr is not part of the motion is very disturbing. we had a deal going into this over the past year that there would be 50 bmr. that is a concern as well. president fong: thank you very much. peter cohen.
>> good evening, commissioners. our involvement with this project has been very focused on the affordable housing. it is not directly in our area, but the affordable housing issues affect all of us in the upper market. we went to a very long one plan five-year of trying to come up with a housing program that was a win-win for everyone. we have been pitted, open house senior affordable units versus bmr on-site units, which is a false dichotomy. the developer came together with us and we thought planning was with us, to, to agree that we would have all 50 bmr's in the project fully. that is what we came here to support. only if it is a firm commitment to the full 50.
i came in a little late and i do not know what the story is. my understanding is that there is some understanding -- i can tell you my organization will not supported if it is a range. hrc worked very hard on this, too. we came here to support a project that was 50 bmr's. if that is a technical glitch that we can fix, great. otherwise, it is a great project. on issues around design and parking and access, we do not have a position on the specific things. we defer to other organizations. but the affordable housing is
important for all of us. i will put on my formal affordable housing had to say that when housing organizations saw this coming down the pike, we were very strong that that is not a pitting that we want. we should not be playing affordable housing versus bmr housing. this project is a great example of that solution. thank you. >> good evening, everyone. this is one of those times when having your office next to city hall pays off. i ran over here. we have been involved in this project and some movement towards affordable housing from very early on.
we were able to work with the board of supervisors and also open house to help them revision the project as one that instead of being a market rate was 100% affordable. using public land for public purpose was a better use of the land. having the first lgbt welcoming senior housing, we needed to be affordable and accessible to the broadest range of lgbt seniors. as affordable housing advocates, we were helping people learn the lessons that the lgbt community got from prop 8. we were seeking marriage equality, but the criticisms is that the leadership did not have a history of partnering with other movements and other communities to address common cause.
and so we were very adamant about making sure that the affordable housing units on site available to everybody else remained because we did not want to get into this pitting that says the ldp -- lgbt community is monopolizing all the affordable housing. i serve the entire hiv community and i want to make sure that everybody i work with has fair access to those 50 units of bmr. we have been involved in this project for years and are 100% opposed to any reduction in the on-site affordable. this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate a commitment to all low-income communities in san francisco and not merely be seen as self-serving for the lgbt community. it is californians, it is
prop 8, and part of our broader social movement. president fong: additional public comment? we will open up to commissioner questions. public comment is closed. commissioner sugaya: yes, i do not know if staffas here to answer. -- staff is here to answer. i have something else, too. as far as the connection to haight street, i think we have to make sure that it is a proper kind of connection. there is a connection that goes into the community garden. that is an important connection. that can be designed and plant.
the other one is through the building itself. we were given a description. we had a meeting with the design team on tuesday, it was described as a connection, but it seemed then that might be a little circuitous and not as direct as that could be. i think we need to think about that and perhaps include something with respect to a condition, if it is true that the connection language only speaks to the other three streets. those are the first two questions i have. commissioner antonini: i have a few things. this is an excellent project. i am happy to see it move forward after it has been six years since the original. speaking a little bit to what is going on, we will find out more from staff about the affordable peace. -- piece.
there were compromises that were made along the way anti think if they have to keep some flexibility in this -- along the way and i think they have to keep some flexibility in this. if nothing gets built, nobody gains. we have to allow staff that flexibility. on the issue of parking, we have to take what is before us to be what is presented. that is the point -- .57 parking ratio. the dental school has their 51 parking spaces and it is up to them, we have to factor goes out of residential parking. we have the 10 car shares. it is fair to count the seniors among the parking ratio.
there are many seniors who have cars. what the speaker spoke about the fact that this particular person was sleeping in his car. it allows independent and mobility and oftentimes, as you become a senior, i can see it happening that their mobility becomes less and the only way they can get around as if they do of the vehicle. it is not that all the seniors will have cars, but a certain number of them will want to have cars. having them five blocks away is almost like not having them at all. it is a fair ratio, it makes sense that is my position. as far as the haight street
entrance, that is very important. that has to be as large and as welcoming as possible to let people see there is an interior there and to be able to get there. the archway, wherever possible, if the archway is historic and cannot be enlarged, there may be a possibility -- if an opening can be made immediately behind their said there is a visual corridor and they see the corridor before them and they can go through there to get to the interior rather than going in and having to circumnavigate the way to the other exit. that interior profile, you could move a door or window around without violating severely and make it welcoming to the public. make it welcoming to the public. there was also some mention of there was also some mention of